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How would you rate episode 502?  

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  1. 1. What's your rating from 1-10, with 10 being the highest/best

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I gave a solid 8.

I would have like a bit more Dorne, but otherwise it was very well done I think. For the Wall it would have been a bit more dramatic to have at least a short break between Stannis' offer and the election, but that's all minor things.

I really like what they did to the Meereen plot.

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I gave it a solid 8. If I had to characterize the two episodes so far, 5.01 was accurate but not precise - 5.02 was precise but not as accurate. 5.01 had several great scenes, but quite a few duds. 5.02 had a lot of good scenes, few weak scenes, but only a few great scenes.

5.02 was a plot moving episode, setting things in motion, and I'm not sure if there's much wiggle room to make it stronger than it was.


5.01 featured stories that had beginnings and ends in the episode, with The Vale sitting at the center as a standalone setup.

5.02 featured the second part conclusion of the Vale storyline that was setup in 5.01 (possibly more in the Riverlands than the Vale at this juncture). Dorne, The Road to Volantis, and Castle Black had specific moments without cuts. Braavos, King's Landing, and Meereen had beginnings and ends.


Braavos (7min) was interesting, albeit rather anticlimactic. There wasn't that much tension in it for Arya being alone by herself. I thought the street toughs would pose more of a threat and the Kindly Man would come to her rescue when she was in more dire straits and save her, but he just kind of poked his head out when things got a little sour. Braavos was a solid 8 but not a 9.

Riverlands (7min 40 sec) was a little hokey with how Brienne and Pod ran into Sansa and Littlefinger. Ignoring that though Brienne, Petyr, and Sansa all had sharp dialogue for the conversation. The action sequence on the horses was particularly cool and was probably fairly difficult to shoot. I loved the way the Valemen's capes flapped as falcons as they road. Pod was a bit overly slapstick for what was supposed to be a tense situation, and they way Brienne and Pod kind of stood in the open at the very end when more guards were searching around was a bit strange. Major props to having Oathkeeper shatter another sword - we finally got to see what all the fuss is about that steel after so many seasons. I'd give it about an 8. Good, but it had some plausibility oversights.

King's Landing + Crownlands (9min) was another 8. A lot of us have seen the gaff on the necklace that Turinsbane pointed out in the "rant without repercussions" thread. Whether or not it's intentional or a goof, It really doesn't matter in the context of the story though - Jaime is going to Dorne, which could work out well. I was glad to see Lollys in. It was a neat moment seeing Castle Stokeworth as well. Solid performances and interesting scripts, although I find it odd Lollys says she hates the color yellow yet is wearing ample amounts of yellow. I don't know many people who hate certain colors, but those that I do never wear them. Maybe they're trying to show how she's "dim witted" but it's an odd remark. I liked the reason they gave for Bronn tagging along to Dorne. It fits, is to the point, and quite believable.

Qyburn's lab looked awesome, and I'm glad we got a dwarf's head in there. Qyburn being on the small council looked very ominous. His even darker wardrobe and slicked back hair really helped visually show he was climbing the ranks and sliding into areas he shouldn't. Kevan speaking with Cersei was one of the highlights of the episode. I'm glad they kept his retorts of Cersei in but I was hoping Kevan would stick around longer than in the books.

Kevan also comes off a bit... overly angry at Cersei without a lot of just cause, whereas in the books he points out how Cersei is screwing up with shunning Mace, etc, and how Tywin told Kevan she shouldn't be ruling, or something to that effect. I think they had a 10 scene here between Cersei and Kevan alone that they kind of dropped the ball on, but overall the SC scene was a 9.

One thing I would have done different is rearranged the scenes and events. There wasn't a need to split King's Landing into two sections in this episode, and would have helped it become less jumpy.

Dorne (2min 25sec) was a 7. I liked seeing Dorne and damn if the actors didn't nail their material but Dorne's inclusion in this episode seemed out of place and alone on an island. I found Ellaria's dialogue very odd. Oberyn's paramour shouldn't have gone off the deep end like that into hate. Plus her requests of Doran made me feel like she belonged on "That's so Ramsay" rather than GoT. Also the line about the Sandsnakes have the "love of their people" was weird. What does that even mean? Are they some kind of revered public figures, not just mini-Oberyns but like, mini-AntiObama's? "Yes we can...mutilate little girls?" Something just felt off, as much as I enjoyed the scene. I'm not sure if it really belonged in 5.02.

Meereen (13min) was a very high 8. Daario continues to kill it this season. I loved the scene with him and Grey Worm. Barristan was on key as well, great moment. The hissing of the slaves was really cool. I love what they're doing with Meereen to make it simpler for TV in the time they're given. I don't think book readers even really pick up on how everyone kind of dislikes Dany over time (even her freedmen) because of how she's fumbling around screwing with their culture and ruining their economy by not having a solid plan in place to transition from slave-based to goods and services.

Having a scene like Mossador's execution really serves to visually speed that up for the audience. Some of the closeups on Drogon looked a bit fakey, but otherwise it was neat having him show back up in Meereen. When I was reading the books I was wondering how far he might have gone off, and it was nice they reeled it back in a little.

The Road to Volantis (2min 25 sec) I gave a 4. Really there isn't much new ground here, and it makes me wish the Tysha storyline was included even more. At least it would give Tyrion and Varys something to talk about. One of Benioff's caveats with cutting that story was that they couldn't do it justice in the show because you can't have internal dialogue, but with so little interesting and solid external dialogue for Tyrion to have for these scenes, it would have worked for him to spill his mind/heart out over wine to Varys. These would have been more powerful character development moments than "I don't like being in boxes" and "You were quite good at ruling." I'm not quite sure what was going on with Vary's speech either. Even if he serves Daenerys or anyone else he will still be in the same spot as a servant so I just give major shrugs to what's going on here. I didn't really see a need for this scene.

Castle Black (11min) gets a medium 8. Gilly seems a bit perturbed by Sam. I think it's over him making that promise that he would return to her after the battle, when he knew he really might not. It makes it seem to her like he's making a hollow promise that he'll go with her wherever and she believes he can't. It was nice to finally get some background on the greyscale in the show. Selyse also has the most book reader meta moment of the season so far. It's a bit overkill to me though because there have been rumors going around for where characters might go and what will happen for months and months.

Jon and Stannis' scene nailed it IMO, and it was the only 10 I gave for 5.02. It hit all the beats perfectly. The election was pretty good for a shortened scene, although I wish Sam's line about Janos being in the larder wasn't "Gilly, a baby, and Lord Janos" but rather "Gilly, a baby, and another baby." I like how they found a way to get in that Aemon still had a powerful influence in the election like he did in the books.


It was a good episode with lots of setups. It lacked a bit of pizzazz in certain areas, but it was a good builder for the rest of the season. I think they should have tightened the episode up a little as far as jumping around and cut the Volantis and Dorne bits to later episodes when they can stand with more meat. I'm having Reek withdrawal, however. The best storyline of AFFC/ADWD still hasn't shown it's face.

Edited by AdmiralKyrd
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Rated it a 7 as it was a mixed bag and what was good was often feeling a bit rushed.

First the bad

The Brienne scenes were frankly a bit bizarre. She seems to be trying to endear herself to the Stark girls by killing the protectors of each.

Mereen was dull in the books and dull on the show.

The good (which felt rushed)

Jon's election



Leaving only the small council which had the right pacing.

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Yep, that's ummm that is a great way to depict women. So empowering D&D, good thing all the men are around to guide them and show them how to do things the right way.

Just read an article by Margaret Atwood on how much she loves the show. She does have more than a little experience writing in this arena. Doesn't 'prove' anything of course, but maybe it's not as clear cut as you believe.

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Yep, that's ummm that is a great way to depict women. So empowering D&D, good thing all the men are around to guide them and show them how to do things the right way.

Since when is it a bad thing seeing women mixing it, on equal terms with men?

Cersei, currently, has control, she is enforcing her will. She has trouble in the ranks, and people resent taking orders from her, but she's still a force to be reckoned with.

Dany is in charge. He council do their job, they council, the final call still lies with her. The troubles she faces aren't because she's a woman, but because she has knocked the rich down a few pegs and promoted the poor. Society takes a while to find equilibrium, it doesn't change overnight.

The King at KL has a council. Stannis has his advisors. The various cities of slavers bay had their own ruling class and councils. Why is it unempowering for a woman to use tried and tested methods of ruling? Is it only empowering if the woman does it on her own? But without help and loyalty a ruler wouldn't last very long.

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Solid 4 for production values and what is quite an accomplishment: the episode had lots of filler and still felt rushed. I have no idea who these characters are anymore, all they share with their ASoIaF counterparts is their names.

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For me, definitely the worst episode of any season. There was no center, even if it had some strong moments (like Kevan in council). I also felt the emotion of Dany's rule for the first time (even from the books), although I think the premise of that trial-story was shaky and unrealistic. I think, for me, even a terrible episode of the show could not fall below 5, such pleasure there is in seeing more. So, 5.

I have grown comfortable with the divergence from the books. That doesn't seem to be getting to me. But I still fear for this and coming seasons because Benioff and Weiss have never been particularly good (as in convincing) at writing non-Martin material...and soon that's all we're gonna get.

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I gave it an 8. I really like that we are not jumping madly from one location to another in order to copy the pacing in the books. I also loved the nod to Bear Island and Alysanne. King in the North.. Once I accepted that this is a completely different animal than the books, I found it a lot easier to deal with the changes which, sometimes, are an improvement over the books. One change I did not like was the absence of the Raven at Jon's election. It did not have to fly out of the kettle. Just an appearance would have been sufficient.

The Meeren plot was pretty well done and illustrated in a nutshell how Dany's experience as a ruler is falling apart. The final bit where Drogon comes close to her at her beseeching, but never touches her and then flies away leaving her truly alone really said it all.

The settings, the GSI, all that is brilliant.

Compared to the first episode, it moved really fast. I couldn't believe it was over. The first episode caught me yawning a few times.

Some things were rushed. What can anyone say. There's a lot of ground to cover in only 10 hours. Still, I have decided to love this for what it is just as I love the books for what they are.

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I felt it was a little more disjointed than the opener, lots of bouncing around between storylines. Also thought it was kind of weird that we got so little House of Black and White being that that's what the episode was named after.

Loved Sam's speech. Brienne's arc is starting to take on a distinct life of it's own, which, while weird, I think I'm starting to apprecaite.

Really confused about Arya's storyline, though. Her getting initially refused and not a single other person even being around the house for an entire night means they've completely changed what the House of Black and White is. No one can go there for the mercy of death if people don't regularly come and go and only people who prove themselves are admitted. So, are they going to turn it into a full-on assassin's guild or something? Because that feels cheap. Jury is still out, but, I don't see how that fits with what the House is.

Bronn feels like a red shirt to me at this point.

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A generous 2/10 from me. The worst episode of the entire series.................so far............

Tons of things to nitpick about, but the scene at the inn w/ Brienne, LF and Sansa suddenly becoming a bloodbath chase scene makes me want to vomit.

Oh, and the 2 necklaces in the world thing......so far, the show has shown at least 4. FAIL

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8. Kevan Lannister representing, Tyrion/Varys dialogue had some snap this ep and didn't wear out its welcome like in 5.01, Mereen has managed to not be deadly boring against all odds (nice reminder of Aerys backstory w/ Dany's realization she actually does care about the rule of law). LOVE the Stannis/Jon Snow scene, the Wall plot is definitely not beating around the bush.

As for the Brienne bit- I like the scene as a sort of call-back to S1, where Tyrion greets Catelyn Stark in the tavern. Littlefinger's dialogue disparaging Brienne is very on point, and the way Sansa says "You should leave" implies that she knows Brienne is in danger for recognizing Tyrion's fugitive bride. I like that we're not sure at this point whether Sansa would be safer with Baelish or Brienne, as we don't know what plot the former is about to plug her into (though I don't think his affection is totally counterfeit) Show Brienne again shows that she won't hesitate to hack the shit out of anyone getting in the way of her vow to protect the Stark girls, whether they like it or not.

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